Harrods is probably the most famous store in the world, with its gargantuan building and iconic green and gold bags.
Located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, London, it is owned by the state of Qatar.
Occupying nearly one million square feet of retail space across 330 departments, Harrods is a one-stop shopping destination for luxury goods ranging from designer fashion and accessories to vintage Champagnes.
The first thing you’ll notice as you walk in is the Egyptian Escalator, since 1998 it has formed Harrods’s spine.
- The Harrods motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique, which is Latin for “all things for all people, everywhere”.
- England’s firs escalator was opened here in November 1898.
- The three mile square area of Kensington and Knightsbridge which surrounds Harrods is known as the Tiara Triangle. It’s rumoured that 60% of Harrods customers live within the tiara triangle.
- Not surprisingly for a store with such high-heeled customers, Harrods introduced a dress code policy in 1989, and it still applies today.
- In 1986 Harrods’ owner Mohammed Al Fayed launched a legal campaign against Henry Harrod, a restaurant owner in the New Zealand town of Otorohanga who wanted to name his restaurant Harrods. In response, every business on town changed its name to Harrods, and the District Council temporarily changed the town’s name to Harrodsville. Al Fayed eventually dropped the lawsuit.
- In 2007 a pair of ruby and diamonds encrusted sandals went on display with a price tag of £62.000 and a live cobra guarding them. No word yet on who purchased the shoes.
- Milne’s fictional bear Winnie the Pooh was a London invention. And although Winnie was named after a bear at London Zoo, Milne’s inspiration for the stories came from seeing his son Christopher Robin playing with a teddy bear bought in Harrods in 1921.
- There’s a sliver replica of Harrods (not full sized unfortunately). It was a gift from Harry Gordon Selfridge (of Selfridges fame) after he lost a bet with the managing director of Harrods as to which store would make the bigger profit in 1927. It used to be on display in Harrods, but sadly isn’t any longer.
- Snakes aren’t the only animal in Harrods history — Harrods Pet Store was well-known for selling exotic animals to wealthy customers until it closed in 2014. Christian the Lion was bought from the store in 1969, playwright Noel Coward purchased himself an alligator as a Christmas gift and Ronald Reagan acquired himself an elephant called Gertie in a telephone sale. We’ll stick to socks, thanks.
- The Harrods brand also applies to other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including Harrods Bank, Harrods Estates, Harrods Aviation and Air Harrods, and to Harrods Buenos Aires, sold by Harrods in 1922 and closed as of 2011.
HARRODS’ LOCATION: Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge occupies an enviable part of London, and counts beautiful Hyde Park, exclusive Belgravia and swanky Kensington amongst its neighbours.
The area’s affluent reputation attracts a fashionable crowd. Residents range from members of London’s most distinguished families to pop stars, oil barons and media moguls.
Harrods’ departments: TOP PICKS
Gifts For Her
Luxury skincare, designer bags, delicious chocolates or fine Champagne and so much more. You can choose between a selection of sparkling jewellery or on-trend accessories from Valentino, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana… The options are just endless.
Gifts For Him
Designer cufflinks, luxury spirits, fine watches, and the latest grooming must-haves. Whether he adores Acqua di Parma fragrance or sartorial staples from TOM FORD, you can’t go wrong.
Gifts For Kids
Take the hard work out of the holiday season and find the perfect gift for your little ones: From traditional Steiff soft toys to dolls, LEGO and cute-as-a-button clothing from brands including Kenzo and Moncler – there’s something for all children.
FOOD & WINE